New Server Cooling Technology Deployed in Pilot Program at Calit2

San Diego, Sept. 19, 2012 -- The California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at the University of California, San Diego has become the inaugural test site for a new approach to cooling computer servers – a technology that could improve energy efficiency and enable higher-performance computing. 

Closeup of the back of the server rack with Cool-Flo installed. The coolant flows through the tubes into the server and carries the heat out like a circulatory system. To see videos of the system in action, click here.
Flometrics, Inc., installed its new Chilldyne Cool-Flo negative pressure liquid cooling system as a pilot program to cool three 1U servers in the Calit2’s server room in Atkinson Hall on the UC San Diego campus. The servers monitor processor, RAM and chipset temperatures, as well as the total power consumed by the servers, while running typical research loads. 

The technology is a server-agnostic, rack-based, direct-to-the-chip and leak-free liquid cooling system that can be used to cool any server. It is based on rocket-cooling technology and utilizes a pump developed with a grant from NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research program.

The Cool-Flo technology was developed by Steve Harrington, CEO of Flometrics, Inc., and an expert in fluid dynamics and thermodynamics. Harrington earned his Ph.D. in applied mechanics at UC San Diego, and is a part-time instructor in UCSD’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department, where he teaches a senior design course in aerospace engineering in which undergraduate students instrument, build and fly hybrid rockets.

Cool-Flo pump, with simple stop/start interface, is conveniently located uder the server rack for easy access.
Cool-Flo also utilizes a proprietary no-drip, hot swap connector enabling technicians to remove servers while the system continues to cool the remaining servers. The technology also uses negative-pressure coolant flow that eliminates leaks.

Though initially conceived as an energy-efficiency solution, researchers discovered that liquid cooling enabled faster processors and increased rack densities, thereby providing improved high-performance computing.

“Not only is there an advantage of power reduction by 25 to 35 percent, but you are lowering existing CPU temperatures by 30 degrees Celsius, resulting in practically unlimited density,” explained Harrington. “Cool-Flo is a good fit for Calit2’s server needs given the institute’s commitment to reducing the energy intensity of campus IT and improving energy efficiency.”

The system’s reduced power needs are derived from the elimination of HVAC, reduced leakage of electrical current from CPUs, and reduced power needed to run servers’ fans.

According to Harrington, the system reduces the power usage effectiveness (PUE) of data centers from 1.6 to 1.1 or less. The Green Grid Consortium’s ‘ideal’ PUE, a measure of total facility power divided by IT equipment power, is 1.0.

The Cool-Flo technology was installed in the Calit2 server room as part of ongoing research led by Computer Science and Engineering professor Tajana Simunic Rosing into energy efficient data centers. According to Calit2’s technology infrastructure manager, Tad Reynales, “we are pleased to host this novel approach to computer cooling, which enables the use of liquids (water with a rust inhibitor, or perfluorocarbon) for improved heat exchange, while minimizing the risk of leaks in the data center.”

A visualization of the system can be seen at

About Calit2
The California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) is one of four institutes launched in December 2000 as what are now known as the Gray Davis Institutes for Science and Innovation on University of California campuses. With divisions at UC San Diego and UC Irvine, Calit2 takes ideas beyond theory into practice, accelerating innovation and shortening the time to product development and job creation. Calit2 extends beyond the university’s traditional focus on education by providing a home for interdisciplinary research projects and opportunities for faculty, graduate students and undergraduates to participate in the development and deployment of prototype infrastructure for testing new solutions in a real-world context.

About Flometrics, Inc. and Chilldyne, Inc.
Located in Carlsbad, CA, Flometrics, Inc. is an engineering firm specializing in solving problems in fluid dynamics and thermodynamics. Flometrics designs, builds, tests and improves product for customers in industries from consumer products and medical devices to spacecraft hardware. Flometrics specializes in solving problems and product development in situations involving fluid flow and heat flow. Flometrics assists startup companies in development of their core technologies quickly and effectively by combining theoretical knowledge with practical capability. Chilldyne has been spun off from Flometrics to develop Cool-Flo and other products for efficient heat removal. For more information, contact: Steve Harrington, 760-476-2770 x510 or at

Related Links

Flometrics, Inc.
Chilldyne Cool-Flo

Media Contacts

Doug Ramsey, 858-822-5825,